If you have a fire alarm installed in your property, you need to have the piece of mind that knowing it will work when you need it to will bring. Regular servicing & maintenance of your fire alarm is not just a nice thing to have, it’s a requirement to comply with BS5839. Failure to perform these tests using competent service engineers may invalidate your insurance in the event of a fire.

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What is the difference between fire alarm testing & fire alarm servicing?

With an estimated cost of over £900,000, the law has now been changed to allow fire services to issue fines

Testing is a process where usually, on a set day of the week the fire alarm will be tested by an internal member of staff triggering a manual call point with a special key. The alarm will sound for a few seconds and then stop. It is the first part of a much more stringent regime of a fire alarm maintenance programme.

Fire alarm servicing is a series of much more in-depth tests throughout the system, including the control panel & its onboard memory log, and the individual devices attached to the system. This is usually undertaken by a service engineer from an outside contractor. A report/certificate would then be issued and any repairs planned & completed as soon as possible to maintain the system integrity.

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    Why do I need to perform fire alarm servicing?

    There are a number of different factors that can stop a fire alarm not working or causing nuisance false alarms, that wouldn't be picked up on the weekly tests performed from a call point. Detectors get tested using specialist equipment, cleaned from dust and dirt build up and control panels, interfaces and batteries are inspected and tested thoroughly. The alarm log book is checked for false alarms and from there any investigation can take place to reduce these figures.

    Failure to perform the tests may result in your insurance being invalidated & may stop the fire alarm system working when you need it the most.

    Sirens get tested to make sure they're loud enough

    How often does my fire alarm need servicing?

    The British Standard for Fire detection & alarm systems, BS5839 is quite clear in how often this needs to take place. For smaller systems, the fire alarm maintenance should be no less frequent than every 6 months. On larger fire alarm systems, it is recommended that fire alarm servicing is performed at intervals no longer than every 3 months, although devices can be tested on alternate visits.

    How much will it cost?

    We have set prices depending on how many devices you have on your fire alarm system. For simple systems we can quote you over the phone or online. More complex or large systems will require a site survey.

    What is a fire alarm 'device'?

    Each item connected back to the fire alarm panel will count as a device. Sounders/sirens, smoke detectors, heat detectors,  CO detectors, manual call points, visual alarm devices (lights that flash as an alarm) and interfaces, which can be used to control lifts, turn off machinery and more when the alarm goes off.

    Is your Fire alarm servicing due? Get in touch for a quotation or to arrange a site visit

    Call us today on 0115 727 0160 or Get a Quote online

    Frequently Asked Questions

    Does it matter what kind of control panel we have?

    We’re familiar with all the major manufacturers and their equipment, such as Advanced, Kentec, C-Tec, Fike, Gent & more.

    What’s the difference between a conventional & an addressable system?

    On a conventional system, the devices are split into zones (such as floors of the building or set areas) and when activated, the panel will tell you what zone the detector that has sensed the fire or manual call point that was triggered is in.
    An addressable system is more advanced, whereby each device has its own coded ‘address’. When that detector or call point is activated, the panel tells us exactly which device it is. This allows you to check for a fire or false alarm by going straight to the point, minimising risk in not having to search a zone. They give more flexibility in their setup & can save a lot of time & expense in troubleshooting false alarms, but are more expensive to install & commission.

    Can you test domestic fire & smoke detectors?

    Yes. Domestic fire detection is covered by a different British Standard than the commercial detection systems, BS5839-6:2019 (part 6, 2019 update). The service and maintenance part is quite vague, saying that they should be maintained in line with manufacturers recommendations. Each will vary slightly and you’ll be able to find the instructions on the manufacturers website & in the most part they can be done yourself. Most will include;

    • Turn off the power
    • Check battery is in date (usually 10 years but do vary) and replace battery or detector if required
    • Vacuum out chamber to minimise false or non alarms from dust build up
    • Wipe with a clean damp cloth
    • Press the button to test

    In some properties such as HMOs & other private rentals you may need 3rd party certification to prove to the insurance company or council that it has been completed. We can offer that as a service including an asset register with model numbers, manufacturers instructions & battery/detector expiry dates.

    [1] The Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974 - Nottinghamshire Live - Nottinghamshire Fire & Rescue False Alarms